INEC gives reasons for postponement of elections
By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, Feb. 16, 2019 (NNN) The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has attributed the issue of logistics challenge and sabotage on the the commission efforts, as some of the reasons responsible for the one week shifted in the elections.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this at the meeting of the commission with stakeholders on Saturday in Abuja.
lNEC has rescheduled the 2019 general elections by one week by postponing the Presidential and National Assembly elections from Feb. 16 to Feb. 23, as well as the Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections scheduled for March 2 to March 9.
Yakubu said that the plan for the 2019 general elections was ready in November 2017 and INEC subsequently issued the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections over one year ago, on Jan. 9, 2018.
He said that the commission carefully followed its timetable and implemented 13 of the 14 activities as scheduled and had not missed the date fixed for any single activity.
He, however, said that in preparing for the elections, the commission came face-to-face with the realities of conducting such an extensive national deployment of men and materials in a developing country like Nigeria.
He said that not only had INEC recruited and trained about one million young people to serve as ad hoc staff, it had also undertook steps for the deployment of the magnitude of materials mobilised for the elections.
“For instance, the Commission has printed 421.7 million ballot papers for six scheduled elections, as well as 13.6 million leaves of result forms for the Presidential election alone.
“Indeed, managing 91 political parties and 23,316 candidates for whom votes will be cast in 119,973 polling units by over 84 million voters is certainly astounding.”
Yakubu said that it was not unexpected that such a tremendous national mobilisation of men and materials would encounter operational challenges and INEC has had its own fair share of such challenges.
He disclosed that there had been delays in delivering ballot papers and result sheets for the elections, which according to him, was not unusual.
“However, I must emphasize that all the ballot papers and result sheets were ready before the elections despite the very tight legal timeframe for finalizing nomination of candidates and dealing with the spate of legal challenges that accompany it.
“In this regard, the Commission has been sued or joined in over 640 court cues arising from the nomination of candidates,” adding that as today, there were 40 different court orders against the Commission on whether to add or drop candidates.
“The net effect of these is that there is usually roughly a one-month window for the Commission to print ballot papers and result sheets and either fly or transport them to several destinations until they finally get to each polling unit.
“Unfortunately, in the last one week, flights within the country have been adversely affected by bad weather. For instance, three days ago, we were unable to deliver materials to some locations due to bad weather.
“We therefore had to rely on slow-moving long haulage vehicles to locations that can be serviced by air in spite of the fact that we created five zonal airport hubs -Abuja (North Central), Port Harcourt (South South and South East), Kano (North West), Maiduguri and Yola (North East) and Lagos (South West) to facilitate the delivery of electoral logistics. ”
Yakubu said that apart from the logistical challenges, INEC also faced what may well be attempts to sabotage its preparations, which include serious fire incidents in three of its offices in lsiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Qu‘an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State and its Anambra State Office at Awka.
“In all three cases, serious disruptions were occasioned by the fire, further diverting our attention from regular preparations to recovery from the impact of the incidents,” as the commission had to replace all affected materials, including the Permanent Voter Cards.
“Despite this setback, we have practically recovered from this by mopping up every available spare SCR across the country and within 24 hours delivered them for elections to hold in Anambra.
“All these challenges mean that there have been differences in preparations from one State to another.
Yakubu said that the overall assessment of INEC was that if the elections went on as planned, polls would not open at 8a.m in all polling units nationwide.
“Yet, we are determined that polls must hold at the same time everywhere in the country. In this way, elections will not be staggered.
“This is very important to public perception of elections as free, fair and credible. We promised Nigerians that we shall be open, transparent and responsive.”
He said that faced with those challenges, INEC initially thought that it only require a maximum of 24 hours to resolve the logistics issues involved and complete its deployment for the election.
“This would mean shifting the elections to commence on Sunday Feb. 17. However, given the restriction of movement during elections, that could affect many voters who worship on Sundays.
“While the Commission was considering the following Monday Feb. 18 as an option, our lCT Department advised us that it would require five to six days to reconfigure about 180,000 Smart Card Readers earlier programmed to work only on election day Feb. 16.
“It is for this reason that the Commission decided to adjust the election dates to Feb. 23 for Presidential and National Assembly elections and a consequential adjustment of Govemorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections to Saturday March 9.”
Yakubu, who said that some sensitive materials had been distributed, assured that all such materials had been retrieved and would be taken back to custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He assured stakeholders that there will be proper audit to account for all materials.
The chairman said that in the next few days, the Commission would work on the completion/confirmation of deployment of materials by Monday, Feb. 18 and well as the Configuration of the Smart Card Readers between Sunday, Feb.17 and Thursday, Feb. 21.
According to him, INEC will also work on the receipt and deployment of sensitive materials to local government areas between Wednesday, 20 to Thursday, Feb. 21.
“Refresher training for ad hoc staff on Thursday Feb. 21, deployment of personnel to Registration Areas (RACs) on Friday, Feb. 22 and the election day on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Yakubu on behalf of the commission appealed to Nigerians and all stakeholders for their understanding on what had been “a very difficult decision” for the Commission.
“As Chairman of INEC and on behalf of the Commission, we take full responsibility for what happened and we regretted any inconvenience our decision might have caused.” (NNN)
Edited by Felix Ajide
- Top-4 finish for Spurs will be incredible, Mourinho says
- Group calls for National Disability Commission
- Kwara beat Bauchi 1-0 to win Ramat Cup in Kano
- KDSG reiterates commitment to quality education for every child
- Commissioner urges police cadets to exhibit good conduct
- Gov. Obaseki flags off countdown to Edo 2020
- Alleged sexual abuse: KDSG prays court to grant her custody of 2 children
- Int’l Mother Language Day: Experts advise parents to teach children indigenous languages
- Zambia suspends collection of blood for HIV survey assessment after resistance from citizens
- Mother Tongue Day: Parents restate commitment to ensure children speak fluently
- Youth Group seeks to collaborate with Police Force on effective policing
- U.S. hails FATF’s decision to keep Iran on terrorism financing blacklist
- Lawmaker disburses N6.25m to 250 indigent students in Badagry
- Uche Nwosu lauds late Sen. Uwajumogu, advises politicians to shun do or die politics
- Group seeks promotion of mother tongue to preserve culture
- Banditry: Kebbi govt. to sustain welfare of soldiers families
- We’re creating enabling environment for investors to thrive in Oyo — Makinde
- FG to create 300, 000 jobs in Plateau through agric scheme
- Forex: CBN injects $292.34million into retail Secondary Market
- ABU Zaria, U.S embassy collaborate on homecoming stage play for Black History Month
- Police arrest 3 notorious kidnappers, rescue victim in Kaduna
- Police kill 2 armed robbery suspects in Abuja
- Kogi Assembly advocates joint security operation to curb spate of kidnapping
- Don urges youths to explore potentials in Forestry for self reliance
- LASUBEB tasks stakeholders on success of school feeding programme
- Liverpool captain Henderson out for three weeks with hamstring injury
- 10,000 people join Greta Thunberg at Hamburg climate protest
- Expert advocates men’s participation in family planning
- Terror finance watchdog re-imposes sanctions on Iran
- Commission summons British Airways CEO, GM over consumer rights violation
- Syria: UN Chief issues urgent $500m humanitiarian appeal
- Gov. Masari allocates 140 hectres for textile industry in Funtua
- Grassroots sport devt: Minister, gov, Amokachi, Yobo, others storm Ibadan for Oyo Unity Cup finals
- Gowon seeks Gov. Mohammad’s support for prayer rally in Bauchi
- 141 hospital staff investigated for giving free medicals to friends
- Osinbajo honours Mimiko at mother’s funeral
- Minister calls for more investments in cloud computing
- U.S. Government supports early grade learning in local languages with Minister of Education and Human Development
- Global watchdog places Iran on terrorism financing blacklist
- U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso Welcomes Three New Nouveaux Horizons (NH) Ambassadors
- Covid-19: ‘Window of opportunity narrowing’ as virus spreads outside China-WHO
- S’Korea, Japan to hold talks next month over trade row
- France shuts down its oldest nuclear power plant
- Osun Traditional Council suspends Oluwo of Iwoland
- IBEDC pleads with customers over TCN-Ayede fire outbreak
- Buhari calls for more patience over border closure
- Anambra govt. initiates measures to check youth restiveness – Commissioner
- FCTA arrests 123 traffic offenders, convicts 110
- Kogi releases N56 m for treatment of Lassa fever patients
- Reduction in violence begins at midnight-Afghan President
- Fayose denies plans to dump PDP
- FG restates commitments to poverty reduction, sustainable development-Minister
- CAN honours slain chairman, declares Jan. 21 annual national day of prayers
- Son of Mexican drug lord extradited to U.S., minister says
- Russia rejects claim of meddling to get US President Trump re-elected
- Sports minister harps on more private sponsorship for basketball clubs
- 13 men remanded in correctional centre over alleged unlawful possession of firearms
- I have more than I needed in life, says Fr. Hickey
- 17 ships discharge petrol, other items at Lagos port – NPA
- Centre for Black Arts tasks Teachers on indegenous languages in schools
- Abia Govt. set to train teachers
- Security: Kwara Govt donates 9 vehicles to Operation Harmony
- AIMS LAUNCHES APPLICATIONS FOR THIRD COHORT OF THE AFRICAN MASTER’S IN MACHINE INTELLIGENCE (AMMI) PROGRAM
- Parties de-registration: DPP challenges INEC in court
- Viral conjunctivitis outbreak hits Angola
- Gov Makinde, Ajimobi pay last respect, as Lekan Are goes home
- Residents uncover suspected kidnappers camp in llorin
- African Development Bank issues call to strengthen fertilizer value chains at Argus Africa Fertilizer Conference
- Ilorin Court grants contractor N5m bail
- Coronavirus Scare: Hundreds to be quarantined in northern Italy
- Sports: Gov. Matawalle dissolves state-owned Football Club
- Fashola Inaugurates Gombe Housing Estate
- Kwara Govt to incorporate cancer screening into PHC
- Mo Abudu becomes grandmother
- Pompeo in Oman for talks with new ruler
- Lagos State Govt. to punish illegal Real Estate business practitioners
- Ekiti Govt. insists on due process over selection of new monarch for Otun Ekiti
- Petroleum Industry Governance Bill absence, hampers investment in Oil, Gas sector
- NBC to drive effective reforms, checkmate monopoly in broadcasting
- Organisation trains farmers in Gombe on innovative farming
- AU Chair urges S. African army to help silence the guns in Africa
- Seoul city to ban rallies, Shincheonji church services to curb virus
- NABDA to enlighten Nigerians on biotech cowpea
- FACAN partners Russian company for preservation of commodities
- Society urges govts to promote travel medicine in Nigeria
- South Africa (SA) sides determined to bounce back on Guinness PRO14 tour
- Congresses: PDP extends deadline for sale of forms
- Justice Bulkachuwa inaugurates Yola Division Court of Appeal Complex
- Zidane says he’s in support of Ramos’ Tokyo Olympics dream
- NESREA advocates community intervention to tackle open defecation in Gombe
- Residents lament high cost of house rent in Enugu
- UNODC pledges to support Nigeria in fight against drug abuse, organised crimes
- FG, IHE Delft Institute sign MoU to address sanitation crisis
- We’re working towards ensuring that poaching doesn’t affect 20th NSF, Edo deputy governor says
- Plateau Govt. to change Pankshin Health College to polytechnic
- NGO donates relief materials to 8 orphanages in FCT
- NSF: Edo allays fear over Coronavirus, lassa fever
- Don advocates training of young people for sustainable water management
- COVID19: FG releases N386m to 2 health agencies- Official
- Thousands of Algerians mark first anniversary of pro-reform protests
- Space Centre reaffirms commitment to FG’s service delivery initiative
- Burkina Faso is epicentre of Sahel crisis, 765,000 displaced – UN
- EU commission fines Spanish hotel group millions for price tricks
- Bingham University matriculates 925 students for 2019/2020 session
- Nasarawa govt. committed to addressing women, children’s plights – Commissioner
- Trump blasts best-picture Oscar for South Korean film ‘Parasite’
- Group urges states to domesticate ACJA for dispensation of corruption cases
- Information Commissioner solicits media support to promote good governance in Nasarawa
- Agriculture: Players to showcase adapted technologies, solutions from 29 countries, in Lagos
- Commuters call for improved LAGFERRY services, more boats
- Benue CJ discharges 3 suspects, grants 19 others bail
- Galaxy Backbone seeks BPP partnership on revenue generation
- Kofi Annan Centre to support NOSDRA with capacity enhancement
- Popularising speaking of indigenous languages
- 3 new coronavirus cases discovered in northern Italy
- Bank marketer docked over alleged theft of N2.8m
- We won’t set 2020 NSF medals target for Kwara team, state DOS says
- Buratai urges NGOs to operate with knowledge of NE’s peculiar security dilemma
- Nigeria will build her capacity to respond to emerging, re-emerging infectious diseases – Mamora
- Corruption: NGO tasks traditional, religious leaders on exemplary leadership
- Healthy women of child-bearing age can donate kidney – Nephrologist
- Chinese investments propel Greece’s Piraues to top Mediterranean port
- Bayelsa: Diri promises useful programmes
- Myanmar to court-martial more troops over Rohingya crackdown – Army
- Wife of Niger governor inaugurates NAWOJ secretariat
- VC tasks students on career devt, as Michael Okpara Varsity matriculates 3,532
- NATO’s Stoltenberg welcomes U.S. Taliban deal to stem Afghan bloodshed
- Insecurity: Cleric urges continuous prayers
- Educationist charges parents to teach their children Igbo
- We’ve recorded 108 sexual assault cases in Kafanchan in 2020 – Centre
- Man, 24, docked over alleged N765,400 food stuff theft
- DPR donates gas cylinders to food vendors in Ogun
- PM leaves Lesotho, avoids being charged with murdering wife
- Church sponsors 16 to Turkey for varsity education
- Human trafficking: ECOWAS Commission urges journalists to report with caution
- Police confirm palace guard’s killing in Plateau
- Sokoto govt. to give 1,800 women interest-free loans
- U.S. confirms deal with Taliban on reducing violence in Afghanistan
- Agency makes case for passage of Sexual Harassment bill
- 2.9% economic growth projection achievable in spite IMF’s position– BMO
- Coalition urges de-registered parties to rethink political strategy
- Trump’s peace plan can’t be stopped even if democrat wins -Netanyahu
- 3 in court over alleged theft of N1.2m, phones
- Don warns against over-slimming of body
- NHRC condemns attack on judges over political decisions
- Islamic State supporter admits plot to bomb London cathedral
- Deregistration: We won’t take INEC to court, we’ve joined APC – UPP
- Synagogue collapsed building: Court fixes April 24 for adoption of final written addresses
- Jail cases add to China coronavirus tally
- Miss Nigeria Int’l to unveil ‘Feeding the Elderly’ project March 7
- Capital market operators, regulators urged to tackle infractions, unclaimed dividends
- INEC to determine date for Bayelsa senatorial bye-elections
- NSF: 11,500 athletes expected for Edo 2020
- FMARD wants private sector investors initiative to complement govt’s effort
- 100 new Covid-19 cases in South Korea, largest outbreak outside China
- German cultural body to return skulls to Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya
- Diaspora remittance: Bureau de change operators want involvement in outward transfer
- Cobbler bags 18 months in jail for 250g marijuana deal
- Asian Catholics to mark subdued Ash Wednesday amid virus fears
- Slovaks demonstrate in memory of murdered investigative journalist
- Ogun declares zero tolerance for female genital mutilation
- U.S. sanctions are ‘great honour,’ says Iranian council amid elections
- Fashola urges top ministry officials to work as team
- North Korea cancels Pyongyang marathon because of coronavirus
- Businessman drags ex-wife to court, seeks custody of 2 children
- Jongno district skittish about virus spread after reporting most infections in Seoul
- Rivalry, poor facilities in health sector cause of doctors relocation abroad – Plateau NMA
- Moon to receive emergency report on virus response
- Russia rejects claim of meddling to get U.S. President Trump re-elected
- Rain washes out final session after Jamieson shines with ball
- Man, 32, in court for alleged theft of tricycle
- Alleged Hanau shooter in contact with German prosecutors in November
- Stakeholders advises Govt to deploy more counsellors in schools
- Germany reopens hate speech, gun law debates after shisha bar killings
- Minister urges religious leaders to help curb vices among youths
- Lesotho PM fails to appear in court to face murder charge
- Sales rep in court for allegedly stealing textbooks worth N3.9m
- AFAN, Institute partner on new farming methods, soil analysis
- 2 docked over alleged illegal possession of gun, cultism
- Russia calls reports of Syrians fleeing Idlib en masse for Turkey false
- Thai court dissolves popular opposition party for illegal loan
- Shrine that may be burial site of Rome’s mythical founder discovered
- 3 men in court for allegedly damaging economic trees worth N2m
- Ringier Africa Digital Publishing (RADP) unifies all its brands under the company name PULSE
- German investigators discover drugs worth over €50m
- Buratai expresses confidence in troops ability to end insurgency
- Oyo LG crisis: ALGON tells court it received terms of settlement
- ECOWAS Court advocates legal system to guarantee Ivoirians of rights protection
- FG calls for tolerance, peaceful coexistence among Nigerians
- Athletics: Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh smashes half marathon world record by 20 seconds
- Court remands man for allegedly stabbing bartender to death
- Jema’a LG commits to meaningful projects -Chairman
- In 12 months, Sahel violence displaces more than 700,000 in Burkina Faso
- Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
- NYSC offers free medical treatment to 1, 000 in Niger
- Driver in court for alleged reckless driving,, causing death of 2 customs officers
- PWDs call for inclusion by govt in education sector
- Lagos shop owners lament demolition in spite notification
- Group urges sexual, reproductive health training for physically challenged women
- Court sentences 3 teenagers to 3 months imprisonment each for cultism